The Joy of Museums

Finding Meaning in Art & History

White House at Night

Whitehousenight

“White House at Night” by Vincent van Gogh was created six weeks before his death. It is thought that van Gogh painted “White House at Night” around 8:00 PM based on the position of the “star” in the painting. Astronomers calculated that the star in the painting must be Venus which was bright in the evening sky in June 1890.

According to the Museum, this painting:

expresses the great psychological tension under which Van Gogh found himself”

The painting has had a turbulent history. In the late 1920s it became part of a private collection of a German industrialist. Paintings of this style were labelled “degenerate art” by the Nazis, which contributed to this painting and others Post-Impressionism paintings being kept secret.

Thought to have been lost after World War II, the painting was in the Hermitage archives for fifty years before being exhibited in 1995. At the same Hermitage exhibit three other Van Gogh’s paintings though to be lost were also exhibited. They included: “Landscape with House and Ploughman”, “Morning: Going out to Work (After Millet)” and the “Portrait of Madame Trabuc” all by Vincent van Gogh.

Gogh, Vincent van - Landscape with House and Ploughman

Landscape with House and Ploughman

Essential Facts:

  • Title:                   White House at Night
  • Artist:                 Vincent van Gogh
  • Year:                   1890
  • Place Created:   Auvers-sur-Oise, France
  • Medium:            Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions       59 cm × 72.5 cm (23.2 in × 28.5 in)
  • Museum:           Hermitage Museum

Artist Essential Facts:

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“The best way to know God is to love many things.” Vincent van Gogh

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Photo Credit: Vincent van Gogh [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons